Republican front-runner Donald Trump isn’t quite ready to sign the “Taxpayer Protection” pledge — sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist — because as president, he might “want to switch taxes around.”
Trump told Time magazine that he would not increase the net amount of taxes collected from Americans but that he wants to alleviate the tax burden on the middle class. “I have hedge fund guys that are making a lot of money that aren’t paying anything, okay. And I don’t know how his pledge relates to that.”
“I know a lot of bad people in this country that are making a hell of a lot of money and not paying taxes,” Trump continued. “The tax law is totally screwed up. The complexity of it, the size of it. I mean I spent millions of dollars every year on lawyers and accountants just to do a tax return. And I want to put H&R Block out of business. I want to make it very simple. And we can leave the tax code the way it is and simplify it, or you could go to a form of a flat tax. You could go to a fair tax. There’s a lot of things you could do.”
UPDATE 4:24 pm, EST
It should be noted that in the Time interview, Donald Trump did not totally rule out signing Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge in the future but stated he has not yet made a decision at this time. Additionally, ATR’s VP of Communications John Kartch reached out to the Daily Caller to answer Trump’s question of whether or not he could do revenue neutral tax reform and still be consistent with the Pledge:
KARTCH: Trump asked the right question… And the answer is certainly yes. He can cheerfully sign the Pledge. The Pledge was designed to support pro-growth, revenue neutral tax reform. He put himself on record saying taxes do not need to be increased overall and that too much spending is the problem. He’s exactly right on that.